Tea Party v. Constitution

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erianaiel
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Re: Tea Party v. Constitution

Post by erianaiel » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:05 pm

Tudamorf wrote:
Zute wrote:Wealthy people used to pay a lot more in taxes in the US than they presently do. The Republicans have been kind to the rich.
Really?

In 2000 (after 8 years of Clinton), out of $1 trillion in federal income tax receipts, about $448 billion was paid by those making $200,000 or more.

In 2008 (after 8 years of Bush), out of $1.08 trillion in federal income tax receipts, about $532 billion was paid by those making $200,000 or more.

Note that the top 3-4% are paying half of all federal income taxes here, and they paid slightly more in 2008 than they did in 2000.
This is only a relevant statistic if those people who earn more than 200.000 dollars earn less than half the total taxable income in the country.
And even then it is only marginally relevant since somebody who earns 200.000 dollars per year can more easily spare 50.000 in taxes than somebody who earns 2000 can spare 500 even if in percentages it is exactly the same.

The sad truth is that in the USA a tiny percentage of people (it gets even worse if you count families) receive the vast majority of income. Even if they pay -less- income tax in percentages than the other 95 (or so) percent they still probably end up paying more income tax then the rest of the population combined. Likely if you break down the income tax receipts down by top 1pct bracket, top 5 pct bracket and top 10 pct bracket you will find the first group paying a vastly greater percentage of the 500 billion. That does not mean they are unfairly taxed but simply that they receive such a huge income that even after all deductions and offshore constructions there still is a lot of tax being paid.

I expect a storm of protests claiming that those top 1 or 5 pct of people really deserve to receive that much income and that it is grossly unfair that they are paying for things that the other 99 or 95pct of the population is profiting from. All I can say to such claims is that I have my doubts anybody is entitled to tens of millions of dollars, but even ignoring that I also think that no person and no country can keep spending more than they earn. You can try to borrow your way out of the deficit, but sooner or later people or countries stop being so enthusiastic to lend you money. Then you can try to stick somebody else with the bill (families filing for bankruptcy and effectively disappearing from the economy for a while or permanently, national bank fixing their currency against another one or against a vital international trade good, usually oil), but again this will work only a few times before people will grow wary of dealing with you at all. And as a country you have the option that the USA is doing now: inflate your way out of your debts. This will work for a while until others stop accepting your coin. At that point the same thing will happen that happened to Germany in 1923 to Argentina in 1976 or Zimbabwe since 2000 (still ongoing though the national currency has for all intents and purposes ceased to exist since the last official figures from 2008 had prices double daily).

But percentages are always very misleading unless you know what exactly they stand for and how they relate to other related economic factors. E.g. just prior to the height of Zimbabwe's hyperinflation computer models suggested that investing in that country was the best way to make more money, since it offered the highest growth figures. The system simply (or conveniently) forgot to take into account that the worth of the currency plummeted even faster than those growth figures and that an annual economic 'growth' of 5000 pct or more really mean nothing if you do not understand what causes that huge number.


Eri

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Tudamorf
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Re: Tea Party v. Constitution

Post by Tudamorf » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:32 pm

AbyssalMage wrote:Who paid to build the road that connects the school to your customers? That would be tax payers. The ones who had factory jobs during the 30's and 40's. With the exception of early America and the Rail Roads, Middle and Lower class Americans have always paid for these contructions with Bonds
Really?

How many municipal bonds have you bought in the past 10 years?
AbyssalMage wrote:Who pays all the guys with guns (and the manufacturers of those guns) to keep the school and the road safe, from domestic and foreign enemies? The manufactures for guns get paid by their customers. They are a private buisness. You should know this. Mabye it was late for you when you posted.
And in the case of the police and military, who is their customer? Whose money pays for it?
AbyssalMage wrote:The K-12 budget for California alone is about $60 billion. Who do you think pays the overwhelming majority of that?I don't live in California, but assuming your tax structure is the common Republican structure, the Property owners, local taxes, and the lottery. And considering that most people who play the lottery are those in poverty. 3.5 billion from the lottery in 2005/2006.
Going by 2009-2010 figures:

Over 50% comes from the general fund, i.e., almost exclusively rich people.

20% comes from property taxes, mostly rich people.

13% comes from federal funds, almost exclusively rich people.

Only 1.2% comes from the lottery, i.e., stupid poor people.
AbyssalMage wrote:Well, actually the tax loop holes still exist. When I got hired they had a nice retirement specialist talk to us. Guess what one of the things they talked about. Investing money in tax free buisnesses that you can then claim for tax losses if they fail.
So your opinion is entirely based on some vague memory of a newbie seminar on investing? That would explain it.

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Tudamorf
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Re: Tea Party v. Constitution

Post by Tudamorf » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:38 pm

erianaiel wrote:This is only a relevant statistic if those people who earn more than 200.000 dollars earn less than half the total taxable income in the country.
And even then it is only marginally relevant since somebody who earns 200.000 dollars per year can more easily spare 50.000 in taxes than somebody who earns 2000 can spare 500 even if in percentages it is exactly the same.
So you are a Marxist.

Then explain this to me: If we implement your Marxism, what incentive do the rich people, who currently generate all the wealth necessary to prop up the country, have to continue generating that wealth?
erianaiel wrote:All I can say to such claims is that I have my doubts anybody is entitled to tens of millions of dollars,
Why is no one entitled to 10 million dollars?

If I make something that 1 million people are willing to pay $10+cost for, why shouldn't I be entitled to $10 million?
erianaiel wrote: but even ignoring that I also think that no person and no country can keep spending more than they earn.
There are two ways to not spend more than you earn.

One is to spend less.

The other is to earn more.

Good luck implementing the first on a national level.

erianaiel
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Re: Tea Party v. Constitution

Post by erianaiel » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:07 am

Tudamorf wrote:
erianaiel wrote:This is only a relevant statistic if those people who earn more than 200.000 dollars earn less than half the total taxable income in the country.
And even then it is only marginally relevant since somebody who earns 200.000 dollars per year can more easily spare 50.000 in taxes than somebody who earns 2000 can spare 500 even if in percentages it is exactly the same.
So you are a Marxist.
Shall I call this a Strawman argument, and Ad Hominim or a 'by Association' one?
In either case it is sloppy reasoning and totally uncalled for.
It also shows a lack of knowledge of what Marxism is (not that anything I wrote in the quoted part has any relation to marxism or any other ism that tyipcally invokes allergic reactions in the average American).
Then explain this to me: If we implement your Marxism, what incentive do the rich people, who currently generate all the wealth necessary to prop up the country, have to continue generating that wealth?
Another logical fallacy. You are assuming that my reasoning has anything to do with something you disagree with, subsequently both blow it out of proportion to the actual argument (there is an entire category for that kind of fallacies too) and try to proof my arguments wrong by claiming that your words are what I said.
erianaiel wrote:All I can say to such claims is that I have my doubts anybody is entitled to tens of millions of dollars,
Why is no one entitled to 10 million dollars?

If I make something that 1 million people are willing to pay $10+cost for, why shouldn't I be entitled to $10 million?
I phrased it sloppily, though I think that in the context of what I actually wrote the meaning was quite clear. By pulling it out of context you can attack it as if it is an entirely different argument.
But to answer you question, if somebody makes a million things and sells them for 10 dollars profit each then yes, he or she is entirely entitled to that profit.
I disagree with the notion that just because somebody is made head honcho of a big company he or she is automatically entitled to tens of millions of income (twice I might add, first time to get him or her to work for the company and later to get him or her to leave the company). I can not see how, with an -extremely- few exceptions, anybody increases the overall profitability of a company so much that ten million dollars is a reasonable fraction of that. That is entirely separate from the fact that nobody has a actual -need- for that much income (or money).

Please come with logically sound arguments against what I wrote, and against everything I said, not arguing against this post. No cherrypicking please.
erianaiel wrote: but even ignoring that I also think that no person and no country can keep spending more than they earn.
There are two ways to not spend more than you earn.

One is to spend less.

The other is to earn more.

Good luck implementing the first on a national level.
yes, well. As I pointed out there are a few other ways that a person or country can attempt to spend more than they earn that will even work for a while. They just happen to make the problems worse in the long run, but we are so getting used to the increasingly serious problems caused by our globally living beyond our means, that we kind of gloss over it.


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Tudamorf
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Re: Tea Party v. Constitution

Post by Tudamorf » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:01 pm

erianaiel wrote:not that anything I wrote in the quoted part has any relation to marxism
"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." - Critique of the Gotha Program (1875)

Isn't that what you're trying to say?

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Tudamorf
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Re: Tea Party v. Constitution

Post by Tudamorf » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:08 pm

erianaiel wrote:I disagree with the notion that just because somebody is made head honcho of a big company he or she is automatically entitled to tens of millions of income
Do you think just anyone can attain such a position? Like applying for a position as a waiter or a check-out clerk at a supermarket?

Or that it requires the same degree of skill as those jobs?
erianaiel wrote:I can not see how, with an -extremely- few exceptions, anybody increases the overall profitability of a company so much that ten million dollars is a reasonable fraction of that.
Steve Jobs almost single-handedly turned Apple from a floundering $2 billion company into a very successful $285 billion company over 13 years.

How much do you think he should be paid for that?
erianaiel wrote: That is entirely separate from the fact that nobody has a actual -need- for that much income (or money).
....to each according to his needs?

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Tudamorf
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Re: Tea Party v. Constitution

Post by Tudamorf » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:25 pm

erianaiel wrote:but we are so getting used to the increasingly serious problems caused by our globally living beyond our means, that we kind of gloss over it.
Europeans today live well beyond their means, as do Americans.

You do, I do.

So why don't we live according to our means?

Soon you'll realize there are only two possible solutions.

erianaiel
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Re: Tea Party v. Constitution

Post by erianaiel » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:09 pm

Tudamorf wrote:
erianaiel wrote:I disagree with the notion that just because somebody is made head honcho of a big company he or she is automatically entitled to tens of millions of income
Do you think just anyone can attain such a position? Like applying for a position as a waiter or a check-out clerk at a supermarket?

Or that it requires the same degree of skill as those jobs?
Oooh. Shall it be 'Special Selection', 'Divine Mandate' or 'Genetic Superiority' to justify these millions of income ond bonusses?

I will leave it to you to find out what those three faulty reasonings actually are, though I will give you a hint that the first is a heresy, the second a discredited basis of government and the third, well, would not want to invoke Godwin's law about that one.

But the answer that I believe is true is: No, I do not think that it requires any special or unique -skill- to attain such a position. You will have to be part of the current elite to be -invited- to one, but I have yet to see any evidence that the people who almost ran our collective economies into the ground were any more intelligent, skillful or plain and simple special to hold the positions they did. They most certainly did not show any particular skill in understanding or controlling their own businesses but were quick to accept a hefty financial reward for their failures.
As an economist at this side of the pond said: The people who most strongly believe in the 'market' are also the ones who most strongly act as if it does not apply to them.


Eri

erianaiel
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Re: Tea Party v. Constitution

Post by erianaiel » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:10 pm

Tudamorf wrote:
erianaiel wrote:not that anything I wrote in the quoted part has any relation to marxism
"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." - Critique of the Gotha Program (1875)

Isn't that what you're trying to say?
No


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Palarran
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Re: Tea Party v. Constitution

Post by Palarran » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:27 am

It is possible to support a decrease in income disparity without supporting income equality, you know.

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